Quantcast

Russian Military Responding to Polar Bear Invasion in Arctic Town

Animals
On thin ice. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Russian military is taking measures to protect the residents of a remote Arctic settlement from a mass of polar bears, German press agency DPA reported.

The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.


The military's official newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda (or "Red Star"), reported Friday that the Defense Ministry has teamed up with the local administration and environmental experts to protect the village inhabitants from "the aggressive behavior of polar bears."

One of the actions to prevent future invasions include converting an open dump into a waste incineration site within the next two years so it will no longer attract hungry bears, the report stated.

Video footage and photos posted to social media show the animals eating garbage from a trash dump, appearing near school grounds and entering buildings and residential homes.

"It is impossible to run away from a polar bear!" Belushya Guba administrators said in a statement quoted by DPA. "Due to a deficit of food, polar bears can turn their attention to any potential source of food, including a human."

Polar bears are considered an endangered species in Russia, so killing them is prohibited. But officials said that if non-lethal means cannot drive away the marauders, they might have no choice but to cull them, the BBC reported.

A polar bear uses sea ice as a platform to catch its favored prey, ringed and bearded seals. But the rapidly warming Arctic has broken up sea ice and has forced bears to spend more time on land to search of food, like in the Russian settlement, experts have theorized.

A group of scientists from the national natural resources agency have recently been sent to the area to help disperse the animals, according to the Associated Press. They are equipped with the tools and training to properly sedate and relocate the bear.

"That's just an option; at the moment it is being considered, but there's no 100-percent guarantee it will be applied," Alexander Gornikh, regional head of the natural resources agency, told the AP.

Fortunately, the military said in Krasnaya Zvezda's report that there is hope that the bears will go away on their own, as ice cover has formed amid falling temperatures.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.

Read More Show Less

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less